One of the largest bus and coach manufacturers in the world, Higer, has announced the appointment of Associated Coach Sales (ACS) as sales agent for the company›s range in New Zealand.
Fielding-based ACS, one of New Zealand’s leading bus sales companies, will offer Kiwi operators a range of Higer chassis, as well as a unique version of the 28-seat Higer 28 Munro and the 33-seat Higer 33 coach.
In and effort to meet New Zealand’s unique bus specification regulations and demands, Higer will break new ground by exporting bus and coach chassis from its manufacturing base in China for the first time ever.
In the past Higer has only exported fully built-up buses and coaches; however ACS will be able to offer Kiwi bus body-builders cost effective and efficient Higer chassis that exactly fit local requirements.
The Higer range uses international driveline components including Cummins engines, Allison and ZF transmissions, ThermoKing air conditioning and Meritor axles, combined with proven chassis designs which have gained acceptance in both global export markets and the massive Chinese domestic market.
The Higer 28 will be sold in NZ as a fully built-up bus; however Higer has modified the Kiwi bound bus, adding 200mm to the overall length to meet local legislation and operator needs.
The Higer 28 is a 7.7-metre bus with full width for comfortable 2x2 seating. It will challenge the Fuso Rosa and Toyota Coaster in the small bus market by offering more space and seat, while paying the same in Road User Charges (RUC) as its smaller rivals.
The Higer 28’s Cummins 3.8-litre ISF power plant produces maximum power of 115 kW at 2,600rpm and maximum torque of 550 Nm at 1,300rpm, which translates to 4.5 percent more power and 17 percent more torque than the Fuso Rosa, and is mated to an Allison automatic transmission.
The Higer 33 is a compact 8.5 metre midi-coach, ideally suited to a range of tasks from tourist and executive travel to school and day charter operations.
It features a flat floor and is powered by a rear mounted Cummins ISB common rail turbo diesel mated to an Allison automatic with WABCO ABS disc brakes, airbag suspension that is ideal for tourism operations,
As well as the Higer 28 tailored for Kiwi requirements and the Higer 33, ACS will also offer eight-metre, nine-metre and ten-metre Higer chassis ready for local body builders to build on.
ACS will also have a demonstrator Higer 28 on fleet for in-service demonstrations by Kiwi operators who want to try before they buy.
According to Peter Gale, managing director of ACS, the chance to pioneer the Higer bus and coach range in New Zealand is an exciting opportunity and one that will give local operators real choice at an extremely competitive price.
“Higer is a proven brand in Australia where it has been a star performer in the non-route bus market in recent years and Higer is putting an enormous effort and considerable resources into R&D to continually improve their vehicles,” said Peter Gale.
“The fact that Higer has agreed to supply bus chassis to New Zealand and modify the Higer 28 to suit our particular requirements indicates the company›s flexibility and adaptability to the needs of particular markets,” he added.
ACS Ltd has been servicing the New Zealand bus and coach industry since its foundation by Kevin Gale in 1989. ACS is still a family owned company which assists bus and coach operators to find the right buses and coaches and to dispose of surplus vehicles. The company offers services that include vehicle and fleet valuations as well as importing and exporting used buses and coaches.
ACS valuations are used by all leading finance and insurance companies, while many bus and coach operators also rely on its valuations for financial planning.
Peter Gale has been involved with the bus and coach industry for more than 28 years and his experience in coach building, sales, and coach driving gives him a huge knowledge base to help clients.
Higer is the third largest global manufacturer of buses and coaches producing more than 25,000 buses per annum at its state of the art 500,000 square metre manufacturing plant in Suzhou near Shanghai.
Higer’s product line-up starts at six-metre buses and ranges up to full 18-metre vehicles catering to a variety of applications and specific requirements from high-end tourist coaches to high capacity city commuter route buses.
Higer was awarded the Asia BAAV Bus Expo Bus Coach Builder of the Year no less than five times since 2007.